Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This has been another of our favorite summertime activities so far. I got a roll of easel paper from Michael's and a couple bags of sponges in various shapes from Dollar Tree. We tape up a long sheet of paper, set out the tempera paint (fingerpaints) and the kids go crazy stamping the paper, stamping the wall, stamping each other. Tempera paint is great for kids because it washes off easily. For some reason kids love to paint their bodies. I don't like them to paint on themselves when we are indoors, because paint ends up all over EVERYTHING, so this is a good way to let them have it.

 Ryker really likes squeezing out the sponges in a bowl of water. This is what he usually ends up doing the majority of the time.
 And when everyone has had enough of painting we can wash off on the Slip and Slide. We got this at Walmart for 5 bucks! It has held up pretty well over the last few weeks, which is totally surprising to me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy things

It was a good weekend. Simple. Low key. Wonderful.
Here are a few of the things that made me happy:

Fresh baby carrots from our garden. They were tiny and tender and delicious in our salad. 

 Freshly baked bread. It has been far too long since I baked anything. But I am in full nesting mode lately and I even ground some fresh wheat flour to use in the bread. How domestic of me, no?

A whole colander full of mangoes. I got these with our Bountiful Basket on Saturday; a case for $4.00. I am a mango fiend. It is ridiculously hard to find good mangoes in Southern Utah (go figure) but so far these have not disappointed. Of course they can't compare to a mango fresh off of a tree in Miami (I die), but they will do nicely until I can afford airfare to Florida.

To finish things off, here is our makeshift water table. The kids recently went swimming at a relative's house and spent most of their time playing with a little water table. Ryker just loved it, and I thought it would be fun to get one. I looked online at different options and none of them excited me. They are mostly plastic, tacky, and expensive.  This got me thinking about how it would be so fun to make our own water table. So now I've got this crazy idea in my head, and I'm drawing up plans and dreaming up features and... well. It's going to take a while before I'm actually able to make my husband build it. We've got too many other projects in the works right now. (Like bunk beds for the kids' room, woohoo!) So, instead I came up with this:

 That is just a cheap plastic bin from Wal-mart. It was in the garage being used to store yarn. Mostly cheapy Red Heart yarn that I bought when I was first learning to crochet. So, I decided to dump most of the yarn into our 'donate' box, since it has been sitting in the garage for six months without being missed. Prop that bin up on a couple of five gallon buckets and you've got a perfectly useable water table.
 I wouldn't recommend this for smaller children who might pull it over on to themselves. But for my kids it worked just fine. And water play is great! When you live in a place that reaches triple digit temperatures from June through August, water is an important part of outdoor play. But Ryker is also learning a lot from his water play, like 'this holds more water than that does', and 'this one floats but that one sinks'. And he really likes to practice pouring water from one container into another.
The kids got about two hours of play from this on Saturday before they transitioned over to making mudpies in the dirt patch. They played with it again this morning for at least an hour. I'm excited to be able to build a nicer water table with some cool features attached to it, but for now this will do the trick, and help them to enjoy the summer days outdoors.